New Zealand Mountan Safety Council

Southern Lakes

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Issued at 31/07/2016 6:46am. Valid till 1/08/2016 6pm

Queenstown

Mountain
Current avalanche advisory
High Alpine

Above 2000 meters

Alpine

1000 to 2000 meters

Sub Alpine

Below 1000 meters

Avalanche Danger Scale
Avalanche Danger Scale
Report TutorialPrint Reporthear report

Primary Avalanche Danger

Dangerous Aspects
high
Danger Rose
3
Highest Danger Rating
Likelihood
indicator
gauge
Certain
Likely
Unlikely
Size
indicator
gauge
Largest
Small
Trend
indicator
gauge
Increasing
No change
Decreasing
Time of day
clock
Time of day
All day
Alpine level
High Alpine: Above 2000m
Alpine: 1000 to 2000m
Low Alpine: Below 1000m
Description:
Visibility will be poor for much of the morning, stay out of entries at ridge line to steep slopes, catchments are overloaded with storm slab deposits. Stay well away from stiff pillows of hard snow, the snowpack is currently under tension, many slopes at threshold. Don't go alone and carry all safety gear. Better off concentrating on fresh snow conditions at mid elevations, sheltered from strong winds. Be conservative, the snowpack will be much more reactive today.

Secondary Avalanche Danger

Dangerous Aspects
high
Danger Rose
3
Highest Danger Rating
Likelihood
indicator
gauge
Certain
Likely
Unlikely
Size
indicator
gauge
Largest
Small
Trend
indicator
gauge
Increasing
No change
Decreasing
Time of day
clock
Time of day
All day
Alpine level
High Alpine: Above 2000m
Alpine: 1000 to 2000m
Low Alpine: Below 1000m
Description:
More snow has accumulated on this weak facet layer that is lying in wait for the unsuspecting climber/ skier/boarder in sheltered pockets above 1950 m. Not a day to be moving around higher terrain, strong winds and scouring could see this layer closer to the snow surface making it easier to trigger, note the change in wind direction over the past 48 hrs (NW to SW). Avoid thin areas of snowpack, without a doubt overloading will be stressing this layer. Careful route selection is needed to avoid this potential hazard.

Tertiary Avalanche Danger

Dangerous Aspects
high
Danger Rose
2
Highest Danger Rating
Likelihood
indicator
gauge
Certain
Likely
Unlikely
Size
indicator
gauge
Largest
Small
Trend
indicator
gauge
Increasing
No change
Decreasing
Time of day
clock
Time of day
All day
Alpine level
High Alpine: Above 2000m
Alpine: 1000 to 2000m
Low Alpine: Below 1000m
Description:
It has been noted that some of the cornice growth this week has been significantly large. Many threateningly looking cornices now hang precariously over much of our backcountry terrain. The weight of more snow could bring these monsters to a climax. Be aware of what sits above you, take care entering terrain, the weight of one of these collapsing onto the snowpack will be enough to trigger an avalanche. Don't be underneath them when that happens !

Recent Avalanche Activity

Recent Avalanche Activity
More snow and wind has seen the snowpack become a little more touchy, ski cutting producing easy results yesterday. No evidence of any natural activity stepping down to the persistent deep slab. However please don't forget a massive avalanche was triggered earlier in the week near the Remarkable's ski-field, evidence enough that a significant hazard still lurks above the 1900 m level. There has been lots more snow overnight, the snowpack will be at threshold in some areas.

Current Snowpack Conditions

Current Snowpack Conditions
What a week, another 20 cms over the past 24 hrs. Winds have swung from NW to SW, overloading and cross-loading slopes. There is a lot of tension in the snowpack, unknown weaknesses exist, places like entries to steep terrain and pillows of stiff snow formed in the lee of the strong winds must be avoided today. Winds have flipped 180 degrees, all at gale strength and hidden hazards may now be buried under fresh snow. Overloaded slopes will release under the weight of a single skier/rider. Stay conservative in your decision making, if you come across large pillows of stiff windblown snow avoid them as there is no doubt these are at threshold. Be conservative in and around steep terrain, watch for slopes that could push you into a terrain trap. If in doubt choose moderate slopes ALL day !

Mountain Weather

Mountain Weather
Snow showers, possibly heavy at first, clearing by afternoon with fine breaks increasing. Gale SW winds, turn W and easing late afternoon. The freezing level cold at 500 m.


MetService
For more information go to: http://www.metservice.com/mountain/index

Forecast by Chris Cochrane

Avalanche Forecast Regions:
Mountain Safety Council managed websites
Mountainf Safety Council websiteAdventure Smart websiteNew Zealand Avalanche Center